Category Archives: Religion

Messy Stories

Faith is a never ending messy story of how we live out our relationship with God.

Tonight, I taught a class on how to live your life on mission, as part of our joining our church. Last week was part one. Tonight, was part two and we talked a lot about our faith story.

I shared with the class my faith story and how my story hasn’t ended. I told them that I still don’t have it all together. I still don’t have all the answers.

One of things I look forward to most is hearing everyone that’s in the class share their story with each other. They share in small groups where God has brought them from and what God is doing in their lives right now.

It’s amazing to hear God at work in people’s lives. At work in families. At work in messy situations.

I was reminded last night of how messy our journey is. I was reminded of a few quotes from “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli

“Spirituality isn’t about being finished and perfect; spirituality is about trusting God in our unfinishedness.”

“…it turns out that what disqualifies you and me from “spirituality” – the mess of our lives and our crippledness – is what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus… Some of us actually believe that until we choose the correct way to live, we aren’t chooseable, that until we clean up the mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us. The opposite is true.Until we admit we are a mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us.”

The power of our story is that our story is a beautiful mess. A mess that is filled with real people, real situations, and real questions. A mess that is beautiful because it is filled with real people, real situations, and real faith.

As we talked tonight, I was reminded of how messy my faith journey has been…and of how it’s not missed yet.

I’m so thankful for my journey and where God has led me too.

I’m so thankful for the church I am in that allows people to lead a beautifully messy journey as they discover how to follow Jesus.

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I Refuse

I refuse to be a part of this kingdom for I serve another King and another Kingdom.

I refuse to dream small dreams for I believe in the impossible.

I refuse to accept the status quo for I believe in hope and truth.

I refuse to hate those who hate me even when it’s convenient for I believe in love.

I refuse to be a part of this kingdom for I serve another King and another Kingdom.

I refuse to give in to cheap thrills and low living for I believe in joy and peace.

I refuse to bow to my insecurities and fears for I believe in my Creator and my God.

I refuse to trust my pride for I believe in self-control.

I refuse to sit by while others have their homes, souls, and lives destroyed for I believe in redemption.

I refuse to be a part of this kingdom for I serve another King and another Kingdom.

I refuse to buy, sell, and trade people for things, position, and stuff for I believe in the Image of God.

I refuse to be part of the system that holds others down and exalts the good enoughs, the rich enoughs, and the already got its…for I am part of a different system that lifts up the weak, the battered, and the naked.

I refuse to be a part of this kingdom for I serve another King and another Kingdom.

Hell is for the Neutral

This was posted by Mike Foster over at the Deadly Viper Blog


prostitute-pricing-blog-its

This is an actual photo from Asia with pricing for girls.


Young girls.


Children in China.

Evil exists.


It is found in those that would pay a couple American bucks for the opportunity to rape a child.


But evil also exists when we do nothing to correct wrongs. When we ignore injustice and refuse to stand up for the voiceless.


A poet once said “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.”


Forgive me. I know this isn’t very POTSC of me. But I get angry about this.


God give us the courage to do something.

Getting Busy and Cheating

T-Shirt-Not-Now-Im-Busy-705334

Being busy always makes life more complicated.

No matter if it’s extra hours at work, or more than usual amount homework being busy tends give us bad attitudes, bad priorities, and bad habits.

When I am busy I start to procrastinate on the important things of life for what seems important in the immediate. When I am busy I start to pull away from what really matters to spend time on what is fleeting.

When I am busy I start to focus on to do list’s rather than on people.

When I am busy I forget. When I am busy I ignore. When I am busy I miss out.

It’s not that all the things I am doing that make me busy are bad, in fact, many of them are noble and good things. But many times in my hectic schedules and over worked life I forget what really matters.

Getting good grades is important, but not at the cost of loving others or loving God.

Working out everyday is important, but not at the cost of spending time with my wife.

Working hard is important, but not at the cost of my soul.

I don’t want to lose my wife, my love, and soul in the midst of my busy life. I refuse to allow schedules, due dates, and time restrictions to rob me of what matters most!

I guess…I’d rather cheat on work, school, and fitness than my wife, my God, and my soul.

Hiding With The Baggage

hiding

There’s a story in 1 Samuel.

It’s a story about when Saul is announced as King of Israel.

When he’s announced…they can’t find him. He’s hiding among the baggage.

The first king of Israel. He stood head and shoulder above every other man in Israel. He was a giant in his own right.

But he was hiding.

Leaders who start off hiding never really come out from behind the baggage.

Whether its  hiding among them baggage, consulting witches, or offering sacrifices when he wasn’t supposed to, Saul couldn’t seem to get away from the baggage of his insecurities and fears.

When are leader is controlled by insecurity and fear, they will always hide because of their fears and insecurities. It even looks like leadership sometimes. They will make decisons, people will follow them…but all along fear and insecurity will run their lives.

Get rid of the baggage!

Get rid of the fear and insecurity!

Stop hiding! Embrace transparency!

The sooner we stop hiding, the sooner our lives begin to find fulfillment.

Shut Up!

shut_up

Shut up!

Now.

No.

Really, you probably need to.

I talk to much. I do a lot of mind -talking. I plan constantly, even right now as I write this, I’m still thinking about what else I need to do.

It happens when I pray. It happens when I read the Bible, or when I read books.

I like the idea of shutting up. I know I need to stop and be still.

But it’s hard work being still.

Shut up.

Do it! Stop waiting for God to hold you by the hand.

Shut up, before he makes you shut up.

He’s got something to speak with you about…but, in our busyness and multitasking we’ve cut our relationship with God down to what we have to say to him.

True spirituality is more listening than speaking.

More quiet than noise.

More still than busy.

Maybe then he’ll start speaking…

NO SLEEP…till Belfast!

28 hours from now I will be sitting on a plane with 27 students and 7 adults as we make our way to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I love Belfast.

If you’ve never been to Belfast, you should go.

Today, my wife and I watched a highlight video of the first time I made my way ‘across the pond’. It was exciting to see familiar faces, but also to dream of what God could do this time.

You may not be familiar with Belfast.

According to Wikipedia:

“Belfast (from the Irish: Béal Feirste meaning “mouth of the sandbars“) is the capital city of Northern Ireland and the seat of devolved government and legislative assembly in Northern Ireland…Belfast has been the capital of Northern Ireland since its establishment in 1921 following the Government of Ireland Act 1920.

Since its emergence as a major city, it had been the scene of various episodes of sectarian conflict between its Roman Catholic and Protestant populations. These opposing groups in this conflict are now often termedrepublican and loyalist respectively, although they are also referred to as ‘nationalist‘ and ‘unionist‘. The most recent example of this is known as the Troubles – a civil conflict that raged from c.1969 to the late 1990s.

Belfast saw some of the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, particularly in the 1970s, with rival paramilitary groups forming on both sides. Bombing, assassination and street violence formed a backdrop to life throughout the Troubles. The Provisional IRA detonated twenty-two bombs, all in a confined area in the city centre in 1972, on what is known as “Bloody Friday“, killing nine people.

Loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA) claimed that the murders they carried out were in retaliation to the PIRA campaign. Most of their victims were Roman Catholic civilians entirely unconnected to the Provisional IRA. A particularly notorious group, based on the Shankill Road in the mid 1970s became known as the Shankill Butchers. In all, over one thousand five hundred people were killed in political violence in the city from 1969 until 2001. Part of the legacy of the Troubles is that both republican and loyalist paramilitary groups in Belfast have become involved in organised crime and racketeering.”

There is much more to be said on the history of Belfast. But 1 thing is for sure, Belfast is in need of love and hope.

Our prayer is that as we serve, speak, love, and play people throughout the Shankill will see hope and love in us.

In our eyes.

In our hugs.

In our laugh.

In our smiles.

Will you pray with us as we leave tomorrow?